By Samuel Torres
Catholic education in the 21st century is a dynamic process and we seek to provide the best experience in our elementary and secondary schools. Innovation and experience with STEM and STEAM programs have led to the improved STREAM (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts, and Math) program. Students are led to the realization that God’s hand is in all of the content taught.
Faith inspired teachers and teaching makes the difference in forming proper decision-making and discernment about the world around us. Our future leaders, our future church, are developing the consciences necessary to address complex matters of our society.
Most recently, teachers and administrators from our Catholic schools were gathered to begin a new process; Professional Learning Communities (PLC). The fruit of our gathering resulted in an investment toward developing a process that will improve learning for all students attending our diocesan schools. Collaboration, a core value of our diocese, is underway in uniting the intellects and hearts of our administrators, faculty and staff to dialogue, form accountability, improve teaching and improve academic performance of all students. The main goal is to lead our teachers to work together to achieve their collective purpose of learning for all, while nurturing an inclusive environment that respects and values all. The PLC’s will meet regularly to support one another and to further develop and implement goals.
The Catholic schools of the Diocese of San Bernardino are committed to the development of the whole child. We recognize parents as primary educators and our own role as assisting secondary educators of faith and spiritual formation for the children we serve. Our schools tend to operate as communities which produce higher levels of teacher commitment, student engagement, and student achievement. And finally, a faith-based education develops integration of school and community.
Graduates of our Catholic high schools are more likely to vote, to be more civically engaged, to be more tolerant of diverse views, to be more committed to service, and more likely to be productive, responsible, problem-solving citizens. It has been said, it takes a village to educate a child. Our schools form and educate Catholic leaders for our Church and for society, something we all must continue to pray for. I invite you to inquire how you can be the mentor, the inspiration, or the reason why a child will succeed. You are an important piece in the equation that supports our future church.
Samuel Torres is Superintendent of Catholic Schools in the Diocese of San Bernardino.